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On the beer front, a couple of local breweries have events planned. Over at Tennessee Brew Works, they're keeping the doors open late for a party, which will roll from 5 to 10 on Friday night. They'll have live music featuring The TN Warblers, a costume contest, a pumpkin judging contest, pumpkin bowling and plenty of craft beer, including their special Prichard’s Barrel-Aged beers. Admission is free, and attendees in costume will enjoy discounted pint purchases.
Black Abbey is also extending the hours at their Fellowship Hall for a "Halloween After Hours" spook-tacular. If any of you attended Black Abbey's first birthday party, then you know that the crew there leans toward music that is heavy and metallic. A $5 cover is all you'll pay to enjoy the thrashings of Timid Death and Hard Rock Zombies. There will also be a costume contest with the winner receiving a full growler and some Black Abbey swag.
Did you know that the pool room at The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium is purported to be haunted? It's true, or least supposedly. Or else why would CNN have produced a segment about how the former Union Station's baggage claim room might still have travelers waiting for their luggage? So the Saucer seems to be an appropriately creepy place to pass your All Hallow's Eve as they throw a Halloween Bash on Friday night. There will be live music by performer Diamond Carter from 8 to midnight, as well as a costume contest for all the attendees who are into the "spirit" of the evening. Guests will also get the chance to try the brew from the Mystery Beer Barrel for $3.
But the recent news that Doughnut Vault has picked Nashville as what looks to be its first non-Windy City location has my adrenaline going (or maybe that’s a blood sugar spike).
For those who haven’t had the pleasure, Doughnut Vault is a Chicago baker with a cult-like following. Crowds form to grab the offbeat varieties plus what many say is the best glazed doughnut around. When I say crowds, I mean actual hoards of people lining up. I mean a line around the corner before doors open at 8:30 a.m.
This is because when the tiny DV kitchen sells out, it locks up for the day. If they sell out of sweet, hole-in-the-center goodness by 9:30 a.m.? They tell you to come back tomorrow. The small space feels like you’re standing inside a Tiffany gift box, blue and shiny and full of anticipation, as you wait for your turn to buy a giant doughnut (or dozen), fritter and/or coffee.
The book also addresses how to eat healthfully, acknowledging that not all vegetarian and vegan food is actually good for you. The introduction includes quite a bit of information on nutrition and how to make good choices, which is helpful for any reader, not just those pursuing a veg*n lifestyle. The bulk of the 500-plus page book, however is flavor matchmaking and cooking tips just like the original, but with exclusively vegetarian ingredients. This would be a particularly handy reference book for members of local farm CSAs. For example, there are two pages dedicated to parsnips, which are plentiful right now. Suggestions include parsnip jam with vanilla and rice wine vinegar, a multilayered parsnip soup, parsnips roasted with ginger and orange juice, and parsnips paired with maple syrup and pecans.
Other sections of the book include how to use flavors and ingredients to sate certain cravings, menus and notes from renowned chefs, and a detailed timeline of vegetarianism and the local food and farm-to-table movements over hundreds of years. The book is available online and in bookstores.
But Eskind hasn't been resting on his laurels. He's been working behind the scenes on an exciting new product that is rolling out in the market this week, Ruby Cut. This is a 90-proof whiskey made by aging his base product in California port barrels. Since aging in the summer is different from the slower process of aging in cold weather, Eskind divided his small batch into two lots and filled an equal number of barrels during the summer and during the winter. The whiskeys lay in repose here in Nashville for six months apiece until it was time to blend them together and bottle them for a unique small release.
The port barrels contribute a lot of color and character to Cumberland Cask Ruby Cut. Probably the most notable effect of the experiment is a dramatic smoothing out of the finish, especially when you consider it is a higher proof than a lot of other Tennessee whiskeys. This is the result of the two separate aging sessions interrupted by some extra time mellowing in steel vats while the other half of the batch is taking a short oak nap.
The original plan was to bottle the summer batch and the winter batch separately, but when they were blended the resulting product was too good to pass up. Ruby Cut will be a very limited release and should be available at better liquor stores around town starting this week for around $60 per bottle. It will not be distributed outside of Middle Tennessee, so if you have a long-distance whiskey aficionado on your holiday gift list, Ruby Cut might just be the ticket.
Fryer's new project will be at 315 12th Ave. S., and his plans for the store look really exciting. "We want to create an eclectic, fun, progressive wine shop with really cool wines from small wineries, made by real and honest winemakers that care about the land, tradition and their heritage. We will be the leader in high-end, rare, well-rated collectable wines. We will also have the most upscale, cutting edge spirits and mixers that are the secret ingredients of all of the great drinks made in the best restaurants and bars in Nashville."
In addition, he says, "We will carry many local products, mixers and gift items. We will have craft beers and will add growlers after the holidays to complete the largest selection of growlers in one block, along with those at Hops & Crafts."
In other words, don't look for a Great Wall of Franzia near the front door. As a businessman, Fryer has a reputation for getting ahead of trends, whether offering affordable-but-unfamiliar wines at (yn) or using iPads to inform wine buyers and opening a comfortable tasting bar at RED. He seems to realize that with the advent of wine in grocery stores on the horizon, the best future for a small wine store is to work collaboratively with customers to introduce them to wines and spirits that likely won't make it to the shelves at Harris Teeter or The Turnip Truck next door.
What it is: Pumpkin Spice Oreos, Caramel Apple Oreos, Candy Corn M&Ms, Pumpkin Spice M&Ms, Caramel Apple Milky Ways, Caramel Apple Twizzlers, Starburst Candy Corn
Where I found it: Target on White Bridge Road; prices vary around $2.50-$5
What it tastes like: Oh man, where do I start? I couldn't climb this artificially autumnal sugar mountain on my own, so I brought this heap of high-fructose corn syrup into the office where my co-workers could enjoy (and/or suffer) along with me. There was delight, disgust and audible barfing sounds as everyone dug in.
The candy that got the most negative reaction were the Candy Corn M&Ms, which are jumbo-sized orange, white and yellow white-chocolate M&Ms that taste more like cotton candy than they do candy corn. They're sickeningly sweet, but I did not hate them; everyone else hated them. "I hate that Candy Corn M&M more than anything I’ve ever tasted," said one brave eater while tossing the few pieces left in her hand into the trash. The Pumpkin Spice M&Ms passed all tests, however, with some folks claiming they don't taste any different from regular M&Ms. The pumpkin spice flavor is not overwhelming, and slightly off. When I pushed them aside, saying they just taste like burnt M&Ms, others grabbed for them. "That sounds delicious!" said one staffer, wrongly.
The Starburst Candy Corn, a giant bag of congealed rainbow-colored goo that vaguely carries the texture of candy corn when not globbed together by sugary juice that is seeping from the candies, also wasn't very popular. Only one person on staff enjoyed them. "I actually really like the Starbust candy corn," he said, grabbing for the bag. "They just taste like Starbursts!"
"But look at them!" I cried, pointing out the fact that they were all melting together at room temperature.
A Bites tipster in Clarksville passes along the following restaurant sign, to which we can only add our applause.
We'll accept alternate headlines or captions in the comments, if you have them.
This year's event will return to Sevier Park on Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, Oct 31 at 10 a.m,, and if past years are any indication, will sell out within minutes. However, if you don't trust your luck to snag some of those desired ducats, there's another fun chance on Thursday to win a chance to buy some the day before they officially go on sale.
Starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, at Craft Brewed at 2502 Franklin Pike, visitors to that fine taproom will receive raffle tickets. At 7, the 12 South Winter Warmer organizers will begin to draw numbers, and anyone holding the lucky tickets will get the chance to buy two tickets in advance. You must be in attendance at 7 to win, and also be prepared to buy your tickets immediately. If for some reason you only want to buy one ticket, they'll either draw another number, or I'm sure you could find a friend in attendance who might be willing to buy you a pint for the chance to purchase your other ticket.
The first hundred tickets will be sold in this manner, with the rest of them flying into Internet shopping carts the next morning at 10, so make plans and bookmark the sale site!
Speaking of noms (nom, nom), Brock is teaming up with another buddy, Tyler Brown, at the Hermitage Hotel for a book signing event tonight. Brock and Brown worked together at the hotel's Capitol Grille in the early part of last decade, and the two made a particularly successful pair as Brock made his first splashes in the national culinary pool. Tonight from 5:30 until 7:30, Brock will be signing books and sharing stories and recipes while the staff of the Capitol Grille offers dishes from the book.
Tickets are $90 and include cocktail, beer, wine and passed dishes from Heritage, plus each attendee will receive a signed copy of the book. You can purchase your ticket in advance at the event website or just show up and pay at the door. It should prove to be a lively night of great food and conversation!
But the day after Halloween actually has a venerable historical basis as a cultural festival, especially in Mexico. So it makes a little more sense that this year on Nov. 1, East Nashville will host the Day of the Dead Tequila Festival to celebrate and sip the traditional spirit of our neighbors south of the border. The event will take place at The Pavilion East at 1006 Fatherland St. and will run from 6 to 10 p.m.
Attendees will have the chance to sample 16 varieties of tequila from famous producers like Jose Cuervo, El Jimador, Herradura, Cabo Diablo and others for their entry fee of $29. Chago's Cantina will provide chips and salsa for snacking while you taste your way around Mexico, and if you need more comida than that, they'll also be selling tacos for $2 apiece. Buy your tickets at the event website before they sell out. ¡Ándale!
That's a long time to wait, but the doughnuts are off the chain there, so…
@loveandnachos Darn it! If only I'd been able to publish this a day or so…
There's a place where I'm from called What The Pho
i went cookbook shopping with Dale Levitski yesterday, and this one went home with him.
Congrats, Ed! I've enjoyed working with Ed Fryer for eight years on the d'Vine Selections…